Dr. Greg Blalock is the Coordinator for the gifted endorsement program. His office is in Jordan Hall, Room 306. He can be contacted at 706-568-5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Special Education faculty in the College of Education at Columbus State offer a five course Gifted Education Endorsement Program.
Students completing this program are eligible to have their existing Georgia teaching certificate endorsed to teach children who are gifted. So are school counselors and school psychologists. Persons earning this endorsement are certified to teach only in their area of specialization and only at the grade levels at which this certification applies. For example, math teachers whose certificates are endorsed are certified to teach only math to children who are gifted. Elementary school teachers whose certificates are endorsed are certified to teach all subjects to children who are gifted in the elementary grades, but not in the middle grades. Art teachers whose certificates are endorsed may teach art to children who are gifted in grades kindergarten through twelve, but no other subject. These distinctions are important.
Public schools receive funding for gifted education by way of a relatively complicated process on a per-pupil basis. To begin, the district receives a certain amount of dollars for each child who is gifted that is being taught by a fully certified professional. This professional must be teaching in-field, and his or her certificate must be gifted endorsed. However, when a gifted learner is in a class taught by a person who is fully certified and who is teaching in-field, but whose certificate is not gifted endorsed, the district's funding is proportionately reduced. Thus, if a gifted learner is taking five classes in a gifted education program, and only two of them are taught by fully qualified teachers, the district will receive only two-fifths of the monies available for the involved pupil. This partial funding adversely impacts the district's resources. For this reason, districts are encouraging each of their teachers who deliver funding eligible instructional services to gifted learners to earn the gifted endorsement.
The population of teachers to whom the gifted education endorsement is being promoted is growing. Thus, the need for the program is growing in Georgia and elsewhere. Only a few year-around gifted education endorsement programs are available to Georgia's teachers. These are head-quartered at institutions scattered throughout the state that are - in some instances - more than one hundred fifty miles from the teachers requiring the training. Thus time and distance prohibit attainment of the endorsement. The availability of asynchronous course work will assist alleviation of this problem.
• Learning and Behavior Characteristics of Gifted Learners (SPED 6288)
• Program Development and Curriculum for Gifted Learners (SPED 6285)
• Teaching the Gifted Learner (SPED 6289)
• Advanced Assessment of Exceptional Children and Youth (SPED 6265)